Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her. Prov 3:13-18 (NKJV)
"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding." That is one powerful claim--is it true? Are the people who live according to God's wisdom appreciably happier than those who live life according to their own natural desires? Years ago the late great Andraé Crouch wrote a song titled "If Heaven Never Was Promised to Me." (I'll let the lyrics speak for themselves)
You may ask me why I serve the Lord. Is it just for heaven’s gain? Or to walk the mighty streets of gold, And to hear the angels sing? Is it just to drink from the fountain That never will run dry. Or just to live forever, ever and ever In the sweet ol’ by and by.
If heaven never was promised to me, Neither God's promise to live eternally. It's been worth just having the Lord in my life. Living in a world of darkness, You came along And brought me the light.
If there were never any streets of gold, neither a land where we'll never grow old, It's been worth just having the Lord in my life. You've been my closest friend down through the years, And every time I cry You dry my tears.
I remember well a conversation that I had with my mother years ago. She told me to live life in light of the legacy that I would be establishing. In other words--what will be the fruit of my life when I come to the end? Will my life have counted? Did I encourage and help others? Will my children and grandchildren want to follow in my footsteps? Did my life make a difference or did I just live for myself? I took my mother's advice. Some would say that I've missed out. But, what did I really miss? No one night stands--no DUI's--no hangovers--no messed up children--no divorces... I must stress that I have not lived a perfect life, but I have fully embraced the idea that living according to God's wisdom does indeed lead to a better life and an exponentially superior legacy. (It is not even close) To live a life that has very few regrets is the life of a happy man.
Author's Note: I once again stress that I have not lived a perfect life, on the other hand, I'm confident that the Lord has worked out, even my poor choices, for my good. Even if we surrender to the Lord, we need God's grace. The good news is that our Father in Heaven has abundance amounts of grace. Please note that Jesus never called us to perfection, He called us to follow Him. The call to be Holy is not a demand that we attain perfection, it is a call to separate ourselves to live out the purposes of God in our everyday lives.